And the work continues…

Well- It’s been quite a few days! First off, blessings and hugs to M’Lisa for the HUGE package that arrived yesterday from Country Supply. There were such wonderful items in it- like PROBIOTICS, cotton, bandages, wonder dust, halters and more! I’ve lost the order list (it’s been a few days of sheer insanity), but when I find it, I’ll post the whole schbeel. Thank you my dear – thank you –

There’s a horse down the street, a tree fell on her, and a limb punctured her ribcage – believe it or not, she’s alive and Lisa (her owner) hopes to bring her home tomorrow (along with her other two horses). The mare is still having wounds flushed and still needs medication, Lisa wants her home so she can take care of her.

I don’t know if I told you about my neighbor Lisa (she’s the one with the mare)- I believe she has MS. Just found out she’s a breast cancer survivor (altho both breasts were lobbed off-), her house was moved off the foundation in the tornado, the trees were so bad you couldn’t see the house thru the downed trees and limbs- Yet, she took in all the dogs & cats of her neighbors where the houses were totally demolished. She heats with a wood stove, and that first week after the tornado, when it would get cold at night, she would put a pot of water on for tea, and her bone weary, ice cold, in shock neighbors would come to her home. She’d sit them in front of the wood stove with a warm cup of tea, and slowly all the animals would come out and love on them. This woman- this woman who’d gone through so much herself, is an island of solace in this whole mess.

Today, thanks to Graceworks Ministries in Franklin, I loaded up David’s pickup truck with a dog kennel and filled that and any other space in the bed of the pick up truck with dog, puppy, cat, kitten, and horse food. And I went out into the community and started delivering. I had a reporter from Hills & Hamlets ( tagging along with me all day (actually the editor, and I don’t know how much reporting she got done as I put her to work). After the first few deliveries, I went to the local FEMA office so I could register for disaster aid. I don’t expect to get it, but my purpose was two-fold. First, by registering, I keep the numbers up and help keep FEMA in the area. Second, many of my poorer neighbors are very suspicious of anyone that doesn’t belong, especially government people. I wanted to be able to explain the process to them from a first hand experience & even though I will always be an outsider, maybe I can reach them and help them as I’m an accepted neighbor. While I was there, the local NBC affiliate showed up & taped me during my SBA loan application proces. Catherine, my tagalong/spare-set-of-hands-and-clear-brain, talked to them and told them what the community volunteers had been doing and specifically what I had been doing. Supposedly they’re going to interview me tomorrow. I hope they’ll publish Lisa’s story. She’s the kind of story I want to tell- the kind of person who humbles me.
After FEMA, we went to Green’s Chapel, a small rural community church. I didn’t realize how powerful a place it is. From the outside, the place doesn’t look like it would hold 10 people, but we went in the basement and found 25 women (mostly) finishing up preparing hot home-made meals to be delivered to the community. They served over 200 people today- the food consisted of country ham (delicious), brocolli with some sort of spicy sausage, macaroni and cheese, tuna sandwiches, creamed corn, breads galore, and most likely sweet tea. One thing people know how to do during a crisis or disaster is cook. Last weekend, the community (and churches) fed most of the volunteers and victims working in the area and put Red Cross to shame! The baked goods were unbelieveable. Around here, you have a disaster and GAIN WEIGHT! Chess Pie, Chocolate Chess Pie, Banana Pudding, Angel food cake, sheet cake, brownies, cookies, cobblers, fruit pies- jello (usually reserved for salads though). you name it…

Our purpose at Green’s Chapel was to get the word out about FEMA. And we made sure the boyscouts delivering the food got the word out.

Then we went to Lisa’s and delivered as much pet food as she could handle – I also brought her 3 halters & lead ropes for the horses she’s going to bring back home. I want to see if I can help her with fencing materials too- She was near tears with all the critter food donations- made me feel really good inside that we could help someone who was doing so much for her neighbors.

The remainder of the pet food went to the Tool Box, which has a warehouse out back where clothing/food/ etc donations have been going. As horrible as the tornadoes were, there are some really good things to have come out of them. on a personal note, I’ve gotten to know the community a whole lot better. I hadn’t realized that I really didn’t know anyone around here- as I’d become so reclusive.

Well, off to bed. Tomorrow we’re expecting storms- looks kind of rough in the Texas/Louisianna area… the news is claiming we aren’t supposed to get severe storms, but there is a wind advisory- which for us means that all the debris that’s been caught up in the trees might come crashing down (we’ve got a lot of metal roofing in our trees- that would hurt!).Or more limbs could crash down (widow makers).

Nite and thanks to all of you- Vivi


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